FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
To provide faster online help, we have attached a list of frequently asked questions. If you have a question which isn't on our list, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll be happy to assist you.
How do I order online?
We strive to make it as easy as possible for you to order online. When shopping, simply add an item to your shopping cart from any product page, selecting a quantity, continue shopping by adding further items to your shopping cart then, when you are ready, check-out. Enter your details and payment information and the order is complete. We are closed on Saturday and Sunday, on all bank holidays and over Christmas & New Year.
Is the credit card information that I submit when ordering online secure?
Absolutely. Every page in the Solar Illuminations online ordering process that requests credit card information uses Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption. We use Paypal to process all credit and debit card payments 100% securely. Paypal encrypts your personal information, such as your credit card number, when transmitting over the Internet using SSL. SSL renders information unreadable should anyone try to intercept it. It is even impossible for anyone at Solar Illuminations to see any of your credit card information when you order at our web site because such private information is simply not passed onto us. Also, this site is certified as McAfee Secure. This means that we pay an approved specialist company (McAfee) to scan our site to eliminate any potential problems or security risks that could cause a problem to us or our customers. This service has the approval of Visa and Mastercard and provides all our customers with the added reassurance that we have taken every possible step to make this site as secure as possible. Always look for the 'McAfee Secure' date stamped logo when shopping on-line. Click on the logo and see our Security and Privacy Policies for more information.
Can I return something I bought online?
It's easy to return a faulty item for a repair, exchange or replacement subject to meeting the terms and conditions of our Returns Policy. Our Returns Policy is available upon request or it can be viewed by clicking the link at the bottom of this web page. If a product fails within 90 days from the date of purchase simply let us know and we will advise you what to do next. We do not usually refund products that have been used and/or installed as they cannot be resold. A restocking fee is applied to all authorized returns. Please note that postage charges (outbound & inbound) are non-refundable, regardless of reason. Our Returns Policy will provide you with detailed information on this subject.
What if can't find the product I am looking for so how can I search for it?
The Search button is located on the top of every page. You can search for product names and descriptions that are featured in our online store. You can also search for products within a pre-defined price groups.
What if I want a product but it is out of stock? How will I know and how can I still order it?
Usually, if a product is not in stock we will advise customers of this fact by displaying a message within the product description. We may also provide an indication as to when the product is expected to arrive back in stock. This is only an estimate. We try and update stock notices whenever new information arrives that is relevant. Sometimes we can sell out of a product very quickly or out of hours so it is not always possible to display an 'out-of-stock' notice in the product description immediately. Usually, if we do not expect new stock quite soon, you will not be able to 'add to cart' a product that is out of stock. If the 'add to basket' button is visible then an order can still be placed and it will wait pending arrival of new stock. Our system will automatically charge a customers credit card at the time of placing the order. If you wish to order a product that is not yet in stock but do not wish your card to be charged until the product is available and ready to dispatch, then please telephone or email us at email@example.com and we will manually take your order. However, usually we have no further information as to when a product is arriving other than what is display in the product description. As soon as a product arrives back in stock, all pending orders and pre-orders will post out quickly, as a priority to all waiting customers.
What should I expect to happen once I place an online order?
When your order is received by us, it will usually be processed and posted out within 5 working days. Many orders are processed within 1-2 working days. Please then allow 2-14 working days for your order to arrive. Most orders arrive within just 2-7 working days once your order has been processed and dispatched. If there is any delay with sending your order we will try to advise you as soon as possible. If an item is ordered that is not in stock then it may be back ordered for you. This may mean part shipping of an order initially. Usually, if a product is not in stock this will be mentioned at the product description on this web site. Sometimes an item may be out of stock even if this is not stated on the web site. We will try to advise you of any delays as soon as possible. Special orders and large orders may take extra time for us to prepare. Orders received at peak periods and during the festive season may take longer to prepare. We are closed on Saturday, Sunday and all bank holidays so if you submit an order during these periods it will not be processed until at least the next working day.
Which credit cards do you accept?
We accept most major credit cards and UK debit cards. We use PayPal as our debit card card processor. You do not need to have a PayPal account to use the PayPal payment option. Please ensure that you enter you details correctly as an Address Verification System may be used to authenticate cardholder's address. We also require the Card Security Code details so please make sure that your credit or debit card is to hand. This security code is not your PIN number but the last 3 digits on the back of your credit or debit card on the signature strip or the 4 digits on an American Express card shown on the front of the card on the right, just above the card number. On some debit cards you may be asked for the start date and expiry date and/or an issue number. All of these can be found printed on your card. Never give out your PIN number which should always remain confidential. Please telephone or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any transaction authorization problems.
Do you accept payment by cash, cheque, postal order or money order?
Presently we only accept cheques from companies and businesses. We do not accept personal cheques. To inquire about alternative payment methods please telephone us on 020 78732262 or email us at email@example.com
Do you accept Company Purchase Orders, Accounts or Terms?
Presently we are unable to accept these payment methods unless agreed with us prior to ordering. To inquire about alternative payment methods please telephone us on 020 78732262 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you accept payment by bank transfer (CHAPS or BACS) or telegraphic transfer?
Presently we are unable to accept these payment methods unless agreed with us prior to ordering. It is usually possibly for orders to be paid for using the BACS or CHAPS bank transfer payment service. To inquire about alternative payment methods please telephone us on 020 78732262 or email us at email@example.com
Do you accept PayPal?
Yes, we gladly accept PayPal. On the PayPal payment screen you can choose to pay via your PayPal account. If you have a PayPal account you will have the option of logging into your PayPal account in the normal way. If you do not pay from funds in your PayPal account you still have the option of making a payment via PayPal using your credit or debit card.
Why isn't my browser working with your site?
Ordering from our site requires the use of an SSL-compliant browser. We recommend using Netscape 3.02, or Microsoft IE 3.02 (or more recent versions of either). Version 3.01 of both browsers incorrectly displays "transfer interrupted" when retrieving information from our databases. For AOL users, either the 3.0 or 4.0 AOL client for PCs or the 4.0 AOL client for Macs is recommended. Also, your browser preferences must be set to accept "cookies."
Why is my order empty?
How is VAT & Duties calculated on orders?
All our products exclude VAT and duties, if applicable. Depending upon the total value of your order you may be charged VAT and/or Duty at time of delivery.. This is because, depending upon availability of the products you have ordered, the majority of orders are posted out from our main warehouse in Florida, USA. However, most customers find that these fees are not often applied. VAT and Duty is not refundable by Solar Illuminations at any time.
POSTAGE & DELIVERY INFORMATION
How are postage charges calculated?
Postage charges are based on the total weight of your order, for each delivery address, and the postage service selected during the check-out process. Depending upon product availability at our warehouse, we normally dispatch orders using USPS, Royal Mail, ANPost and ParcelForce or any combination of these. In-stock orders, once processed, should normally arrive within 2-14 working days depending upon your delivery location. Many orders actually arrive within just 2-7 working days however but this may be determined by the postage service selected at time of check-out. If you have a very urgent order then please telephone or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Can an order be shipped internationally?
Presently this internet web site is configured to accept orders from customers in the UK and Ireland only. If you are not a resident of the UK or Ireland then please click on one of the flags at the top of this page where we can connect you with one of our other web sites which allows international ordering with worldwide shipping.
How will I know when my order has been dispatched?
Presently we do not have the facility to provide customers with a tracking number as we often use more than one courier or postal company for the same shipment. However, if you have not received your order after 14 working days and wish to know when your order was dispatched and an expected delivery date then please email us at email@example.com for an update. Please quote your order/invoice number and date of order.
Is the credit / debit card information that I submit when ordering online secure?
Absolutely every page in the Solar Illuminations online ordering process that requests credit card information uses Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption with Paypal. They encrypt your personal information, such as your credit card number, when transmitting over the Internet using SSL. SSL renders information unreadable should anyone try to intercept it. See our Security and Privacy Policies for more information.
Will Solar Illuminations sell or rent my e-mail address information to other companies?
Solar Illuminations does not share, sell or trade e-mail address information with other companies. Our policy is to protect this information and use it for communication purposes only. We are committed to ensuring our customers' privacy. See our Security and Privacy Information.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & USE
How easy is it to install solar lighting?
Our products are very easy to install. Usually it is just a matter of opening the box and placing the fixture in the garden in your chosen location. No real skills are required and often the only tool necessary is a screwdriver. Operating instructions come with every product. Often a solar light is fully charged and ready for use straight out of the box. However sometimes the batteries may be discharged or low and 1 or 2 days of full sunshine is necessary before normal use.
Will the light work immediately?
Usually, our lights work straight out of the box. However, if the batteries are discharged or low, upon receipt, we recommend that the light is left to fully charge for up to 1-2 days before first use. If the product has an on/off switch then it's best to leave it in the 'off' position until it has had its first initial charge. After this time the switch may be left on and the light will operate without further attention.
Will the light turn on automatically?
All our solar lights turn on automatically at dusk and operate throughout the hours of darkness. Each light has a small photocell device built-in to the the fixture. This component knows when the light level is low and switches the light on. Make sure there are no other strong light sources near by that can affect the photocell because if it is not dark enough the fixture may not automatically switch on. If a strong or nearby light source is stopping your solar light from automatically switching on then often just a tiny piece of plastic tape placed partly over the photocell (light sensor) is enough to eliminate the problem.
How long will the light illuminate for?
This depends on many factors. Your country, geographic location, season and weather conditions all affect solar powered products. Usually for most months throughout the year there is sufficient sunlight to recharge the batteries daily to a 50-100% level. Just daylight conditions have some charging effect up to 25%. The brighter and sunnier the weather, the more charge is applied to the batteries and the brighter and longer the light will illuminate for. Many of our lights are capable of operating for up to 8 hours or more, in ideal conditions. In the Winter months some solar lights can be less efficient and provide a reduced illumination time and/or reduced performance. It is not recommended to place solar lights in areas that are permanently shaded.
Can the batteries be changed and is this easy to do?
Most of the products we sell use regular AA type rechargeable batteries of either the Ni-Cad or Ni-Mh type. These are inexpensive, commonly found and easily purchased from any good battery retailer or from us. We recommend that they are replaced every 2-3 years or as required. Replacement is quite easy to do and instructions provided give more information on this procedure. Som eof the other solar lights that we sell such as security floodlights and sign lights use a 6 volt or 12 volt sealed lead acid battery which is easily replaced and available from good battery retailers or from us, if required. Other floodlights may also be fitted with a large, sealed, lead acid battery of which replacements can normally be bought from us or possibly an appropriate store near you.
How bright are the lights?
As solar outdoor lighting uses batteries as the sole power source and the bulbs are usually one or more LED's there is a combination of trying to achieve a light output that is as bright as possible but to last as long as possible (from one charge). Solar lighting has become much more reliable and efficient over the years. Some solar lights are specifically for decorative lighting and the output is typically a few lumens. We offer solar street lights and car park lighting that can produce thousands of lumens and are fitted with hundreds of LED bulbs. These can easily compete with electrically powered street lights and car park lighting. Some of our LED floodlights provide an output of hundreds of lumens and are fitted with either 24, 32, 45, 108 or 144 LED's are very bright for a solar powered light. We may show an equivalent output in watts to provide some idea but this only for a guide as true light output can only be stated in lumens. As solar lights generally do not produce as much light as an electrically powered light, better effects are noticed when installed in dark locations away from nearby lighting sources which could reduce the overall effect. If you place a solar light in a partially illuminated or well lit area then the effect would not be so noticeable. For some types of solar light, the less ambient light, the better the effect and the more noticeable the results. We recommend that a customer carefully reads the product description and technical specifications for the product of interest to determine that the light output will be suitable. We generally provide approximate light outputs (an equivalent measured in 'Watts') for each product.
Can the bulbs be replaced?
Almost all of the solar lights we offer use LED's as the light source. An LED is a Light Emitting Diode and strictly speaking it is not really a 'light bulb' but more so of an 'electrical component'. LED's are proven to be highly reliable components and have a life expectancy of around 50,000 to 100,000 hours (thats about to 20 years). LED's are soldered into place onto a circuit board or module as replacement is not normally required. One of the solar security floodlights that we sell uses a halogen G4/JC type bulb that can be easily replaced and you can purchase these from us, when required.
How does a white coloured LED visually appear when illuminated?
Solar lights fitted with white coloured LED's are the most popular these days. Some cheap solar lights or old technology may illuminate with a very slight blue tint. None of the solar lights from Solar Illuminations has a blue tint. The colour temeperature of the LED bulbs are below 6000k and therefore appear as a pure, brilliant white colour with no blue tint. For more information about LED's please click on the link at the bottom of this page 'Info about LED's'.
Can other lights nearby affect solar lights?
Sometimes a strong, nearby light source can prevent a solar light from switching on because it is still detecting what it thinks is daylight. To overcome this problem, if your light fitting has a visible photocell (light sensor), just apply a very small patch of black adhesive tape over part (typically about half) of the photocell (this being a 5-10 mm round panel found on the top of most products).
What do I do if I buy a solar light and it is not bright enough for my needs?
In compliance with our Returns Policy if the product has not been 'used' or 'installed', it is complete in its original undamaged packaging, complete with all original instructions and fittings and a request for return is advised within 14 days from date of purchase then a refund (less a restocking fee) may be applied. Just because a light is not bright enough for the needs of a customer for a particular purpose does not imply that the product is defective or that it is not as described. Solar Illuminations has no control over purchase from our web site and the reason for the purchase. We provide clear, concise, informative and factual product descriptions with technical specifications. It is up to the customer to determine whether a product is suitable for their needs and should therefore not have higher expectations of a product than what it has been described as offering. We try and make the decision making process as easy for the customer as possible with our helpful descriptions and technical specifications. However, we do not recommend purchasing a product for a purpose that the product description and/or technical specifications indicates it to be an unlikely solution or the equivalent wattage to be insufficient for such a purpose.
I have a question that is not found above can you help?
We will gladly answer any questions or queries you may have. Please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone us on 020 78732262 any time Monday - Friday between 9am and 9pm. We are closed on Saturday and Sunday and all bank holidays. We will reply to your email as soon as we can.